Forgive me WordPress, for it has been (oh dear) 2 1/2 months since my last confession. You’ll just have to believe me when I say I’ve been writing blog posts in my head pretty much every week but failing to find the time to post them. Anyway – here I am so I shall stop explaining and get on with it…
So what has Jim-Jam been up to since late August? Well he’s certainly levelled up again. I would guess that he’s a couple of cm taller and has gained enough weight that I’m starting to feel it when I pick him up (though, compared with his fellow toddlers, he’s still looks like a mere twiglet).
Mostly I’m struck by how insanely cute he is at this age. He’s 16 months now and there’s just something about that age – I notice it with his little friends too. They’re so little but with fully burgeoning personalities and proper, expressive faces. They’re hugely affectionate and funny with a complete lack of artifice. (If you see them all dancing together it slays you on the spot.)
From what I can tell he has three regular dance moves – The Flatley, The Spin and The Prom-goer. The Flatley involves facing a single direction and dancing on the spot, grinning, à la Riverdance, where only the feet are active. The Spin involves spinning in circles until he falls over. The Prom-goer involves up-and-down knee-bends to the rhythm. (A variation on this is The Chair Pogo, where he bounces up and down to the rhythm in his high chair.)
The second party was at the house of one of his little friends and he went as the Grim Reaper, with G and me as vampires. (Sadly I don’t have a clear pic of him with his full ensemble including the scythe).
At this party we were the proud recipients of a trophy for best family costumes! Isn’t it fabulous? It’s taking pride position on our mantlepiece. If James takes after his unsporting parents, its probably the only trophy he’ll ever win – so we may as well make the most of it.
What else is new?
Well we’re starting to see the emergence of a sense of humour. Sometimes he makes one of us laugh at a shared joke and then remembers it again later – it’s such a leap of personality. It makes it hard to be tough sometimes. I frequently find myself having to look away and cough when I’m trying to tell James off or lull him to sleep, so that he can’t see me laugh.
In the last few weeks he seems to have a sort of new found ingenuity – it’s like watching the evolution of man as he learns to use tools. Jim-Jam has worked out that climbing on things leads to other things… so now he drags his little stepping stool around the kitchen floor in order to get to forbidden stuff like KNIVES. Similarly, G left him in the living room the other day and returned to find him crawling about on the dining table, fiddling with stuff that was meant to be out of reach.
He loves his building blocks and has become very adept at building tall towers and making stuff with duplo. Last night he started waving something at me and saying “white! white!”. He’d taken apart all of his duplo pieces and joined all of the white pieces together. I asked G – “Did you tell him to do that?” and he said “No… he’s scaring me“.
On a related topic, I think possibly the biggest level-up since August has been in his vocabulary. Typically all he wants to do (all day long) is point at pictures in books and tell you what things are. His current favourite is the Halloween classic, Meg and Mog, which delights him by having a cloak and a hat and spiders and frogs and beetles to be pointed at. For the last few days his first words of the day have been “Mog! Mog! Mog!“.
And this is not to mention flashcards. I swear we never intended to become those insane parents from Baby Boom, showing their babies flashcards with things like sushi and stradivarius on them. But the fact remains that James is totally obsessed with them and asks for them about 20 times a day. Thanks to these he is starting to develop a vocabulary that is utterly useless to a toddler in his everyday life. He can merrily identify helicopters, submarines, rockets, astronauts, spiders, caterpillars, umbrellas, xrays and so on… yet he lacks the vocabulary to warn me when he is about to hurl projectile vomit all over his bedroom floor. Why don’t they make flashcards for that?
He also loves counting, but for some reason has a problem with the number 4. He will happily count to ten, as long as he can skip 4. If pushed he will say 5 twice to make up for it. the only exception is when he counts backwards… and the only reason he can do that is the romance of the microwave. Such is the life of a modern baby. It takes 20 seconds to warm up his milk, and the countdown from 10 has become one of the most exciting highlights of his day, that makes him shriek and jiggle about with glee. He thinks that the number below 1 is “beep beep!” and the number below that is “muk!”
Speech-wise he’s still learning how to make a lot of the sounds. He calls a snake a “nake” and yet if you ask him what noise snake makes he goes “Sssss“. He’s also invented his own phrases or pronunciations for certain things. Milk is “Muk!“. And “Na na” means “I want“. We get this one all day. “Na na blocks!” “Na na book!” “Na na cripps!” “Na na muk!” “Na na mummy!“.
“Na Na mummy” is a bit of an issue for us right now. Much as he loves his daddy, he has suddenly – overnight – become a very clingy mummy’s boy. This means that, if mummy is around, daddy simply won’t do. Now if he wakes in the night he stands in his cot and repeats “Na na mummy” over and over again. And, sweet as it is, it’s hard to get anything done when he is holding onto my legs demanding “cuggle!” and “kiss!” 300 times a day. I have looked it up on the internet and it seems to be a common observation… apparently just a phase, though I have no idea how long it will go on for though.
Ok… rather than ramble on ad infinitum, I shall finish with some pics since August. That and a solemn vow to the grandparents that I shall post more often!